Study Plan: Beyond the Basics!

  • News
  • | Aug 1, 2011

Target Skill Range: Total Beginner (Rated 0-1000)

Improve your chess and learn how to better use!


  1. Review the Rules
  2. Play Your First Live Games
  3. Solve Three Tactics Problems - Using "Tactics Trainer"
  4. Start a Turn-based (E-Chess) Online Game
  5. Do the Daily Puzzle
  6. Try Three Computer Workout Positions
  7. Take the Quiz!


Knowing how the pieces move is just the beginning of chess - there is so much more! You should really take your time to master the material in this lesson - it's the foundation of all of your future chess learning! 

1. Review the Rules

First make sure you are absolutely clear on the rules of chess:

2. Play Two Live Games

Play your first two games in live chess (suggested time control: 15 minutes per side).

Play Live Chess »

Now go to your Live Chess Home page and click on one of the games that you just played. Use the arrows below the move list to play over your game. You don't need to do anything special as you play through the game, just look at the moves. 

You should play as many games as you can enjoy each day. Playing games regularly helps you improve and gives you a place to practice the things you study. Reference your Live Chess Home page regularly to review your games, eventually searching for mistakes made in an effort to improve upon them in future games.

3. Do Three Tactics Problems

Go to Tactics, and click "Start Training". It's that simple! Do three problems to start. Every time you get a problem wrong, click on "Solution." Let the computer play through the correct moves for you, and try to understand why they are good. Next click on "Analysis Board" and try to recreate the solution by moving the pieces. Finally, return to the starting position and, in your head, try to imagine the solution by moving the pieces with your eyes only. This is what you should do after every incorrect tactic.

Start Tactics Training »

You should do tactics puzzles every day! Improving your tactical vision is the fastest way for you to improve your chess. Don't get caught up trying to memorize openings - practice your tactics!


4. Start a Turn-based (E-Chess) Online Game

Online "turn-based" chess is derived from what used to be called correspondence chess, but now instead of sending postcards -- possibly spending 20 years playing a game Sealed -- you play on our server and spend just a few days, weeks, or months playing a game!

There are thousands of E-Chess games being played on everyday! Go to your Online Chess and start a new game with 3 days per move. Familiarize yourself a bit with different settings and time controls and make your first move!

Start a Turn-based Online Chess Game »

Play as many E-Chess games as you like. It only takes a few minutes a day to make your moves! Best of all, you can invite a friend to play!

Helpful hints:

  • Be polite in all the games you play.
  • Out of respect for your opponent's time and effort spent on the game, try not to ever lose on time (complete all games you start).
  • When you lose a game, thank your opponent for the game, and see if they will talk with you and give you any advice or thoughts about the game.


5. Do the Daily Puzzle

Try to solve today's Daily Puzzle. Click on the top one, which will be the current day's puzzle. Click once to start, and then try to solve it by moving the pieces on the board. You can click solution if you can't solve it (the daily puzzle can often be pretty difficult), and then you can talk about it in the forum below.

Do the Daily Puzzle »

You should come back each day and try the daily puzzle. It gets harder as the week goes on. Feel free to ask in the forums if you need help understanding it!


6. Try Three Computer Workout Positions

Make your way over to Computer Workout. At the top of the list are nine practice positions available to all members. As beginners, you should try the top four positions first. Today we will start with the Queen checkmate!

Your main goal on the first go is to get comfortable using this tool. The goal of computer workout is to help you get better at playing certain key positions by practicing them repeatedly (note the restart button).

Begin Computer Workout »

Here is the order in which to do your Computer Workouts: Queen Checkmate, Two Bishop CheckmateOpposite Coloured Bishops - 2Ps, and then Rook and Pawn Basics. In the first two workouts, your goal is to win! In the last two positions, the goal is to defend and eventually get a draw.


Test Your New Skills

Question 1: Though historians aren't exactly clear on this, where does the article from Task #1 say "most believe" the origins of chess stem from?

Question 2: What piece does FIDE Master Todd Andrews suggest the "Queen must first capture to utilize her diagonal movement" at the thirteen minute mark of his Play Chess Today! Part 1 video?

Question 3: According to this study plan, what is the fastest way to get better at chess at the beginner level?

Question 4: What does this study plan say a chess player should "eventually" try to do when reviewing their games on their Live Chess home page?

Question 5: What "minor" piece does FIDE Master Todd Andrews review last in his Play Chess Today! Part 2 video?


Answers: 1. India almost two thousand years ago; 2. the Bishop on g7; 3. Using Tactics Trainer to "improve your tactical vision"; 4. "search for mistakes in an effort to improve upon them in future games"; 5. Knight


  • 2 months ago



  • 2 months ago



  • 4 months ago


    The study plans look realy helpfull
  • 5 months ago


    thanks for good instruction

  • 6 months ago


    Очень хорошый сайт програма!

  • 6 months ago



  • 6 months ago


    When I leanrt chess the only thing I was taught were the rules. I got better through playing until I finally reached my limit(I mean I was not learning anything new but I would still lose some games), but then has helped my surpass my long standing level in just three days. Thank you.

  • 6 months ago


    love chess

  • 7 months ago


    je n'ai pas compris

  • 7 months ago


    j'ai pas compris c'es en anglais mettait en francais ok

  • 7 months ago


    merci de votre aide pour apprendre le chess , mais il faut ajouter un tracteur  a ceci ....    en plusieur langaues ..     Wink

  • 7 months ago


    I have learned more in a few hours of studying chess thru study plans than I have in the past year of study thru other means.

  • 7 months ago


    I love chess, and then hate it and leaveit and then again return to it after some day, I am ADDICTED

  • 7 months ago



  • 7 months ago


    Really good study plan

  • 9 months ago



  • 10 months ago


    Great stuff! thanks

  • 11 months ago



  • 11 months ago


    On 7/8/2015 I have enjoyed this study plan beyond the basics. I am still having difficulty mating using a bishop and knight and king against a king. I know I am suppse to drive the king to the white square in the corner but I am having difficulty doing it. I think I will take a break and come back to this when I have more mental energy.

  • 12 months ago



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